The principal opening at ESMS attracted a highly competitive pool of applicants. Dr. Dylan Farris, executive director of Human Resources, conducted three focus group meetings with the faculty, classified employees, and parents to seek input regarding desirable qualities in the ESMS principal. The hiring process included paper screening to identify candidates who were highly qualified, an initial screening interview, a comprehensive panel interview, a finalist interview, and reference check. In the end, Nicole Duquette had proven she was the best selection to lead ESMS as principal.
Nicole Duquette is a 20-year educator and joins ESUSD from the Pasadena Unified School District. For the past two years, she has served as principal at McKinley School of the Arts in Pasadena, where she focused on increasing rigor, closing the achievement gap, and expanding their arts program. Formerly, she was a high school assistant principal at three different schools in Hacienda Heights, CA and Phoenix, AZ. While in Phoenix, she expanded student enrollment in college preparatory courses, increased student scores in the Advanced Placement program, and implemented a one-to-one technology initiative campus wide. Named Teacher of the Year for Deer Valley Unified School District in 2009-2010, she continued to mentor teachers and administrators in best practices in Common Core implementation and effective use of technology to ensure 21st century readiness for students across the TK-12 district.
Duquette earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science from Arizona State University. She was raised in Fairbanks Alaska and spent 17 years in Phoenix, AZ. She is thrilled to make El Segundo Unified School District her new home.